Ste444
Lv 4
Ste444 asked in Business & FinanceSmall Business · 1 decade ago

Is this a good idea for a business? Be Honest.?

I am really into making Cards and cakes. My fiance's sister is a trained florist too. I would like to set up a business in my local area in which you can get everything, all your cards, birthday cakes ect, balloons and flowers. Would this be a good idea for a buisness, is it a good idea to turn my hobby into my dream? I would also like to keep my weekend job would that be possible, I just work in a shop.

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    That would definately be possible and sounds like a great idea. Just have someone run the shop for you or have one day off (on the weekend). You will have to invest in it, but if it becomes a great business, then you will get all the money back and more.

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  • 1 decade ago

    It all depends on where you are. In principle, a high quality restaurant is a good business - but not if it's going to be sited in a run down area with high unemployment, surrounded by cheap, fast food outlets! What I am trying to say is, whilst you may have a good idea for a business, that doesn't necessarily mean it's going to be successful.

    You need to do market research - find out if people in your area want and would use a service like this. The key is in how you word your questions - you want honest answers, you don't want the people you question to give you the answer they think you want to hear. So, you don't ask them if they would like the service you are proposing straight off, you find out what they presently do to get these items, are they happy doing it that way, if there was anything that could make it easier for them, what is their prime consideration when shopping for these things - convenience, price, range, etc.

    You need to take a look at what competition there is - and by that I don't just mean places offering the exact same service, but those places that are alternatives, for example, the cake shop, the card shop, the stationery shop, the toy shop, the fancy dress shop etc etc, even the supermarkets because most of them sell greetings cards, cakes, flowers, balloons etc, as well as all the other party food and goodies.

    This information will give you a better idea of how likely your business idea is to succeed in your area.

    Hope it helps.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I think it is a really good idea - first thing i would do is find out if there are any other businesses in the area offering all this under one roof and if there is then weigh up the competition or why not add some party planning to your business - party planners are becoming more and more popular - start with friends and family (but dont forget to charge them too lol)

    I dont think you would be able to keep your weekend job going for long once you set up - for a start you could ask where you work if you could have some free advertising - the staff room or notice in shop (if they do that sort of thing) and see how many responses you get to that over a period of time and decide then if it is a realistic and worthwhile venture

    Good luck with it

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  • Rob E
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    You need to calculate how strong your competitors are for this slice of business, in the area that you want to operate.

    Calculate the size of the total market that is there and be realistic about the % that you could sell successfully to. You'll need a marketing budget, as just opening a shop will not cause thousands to walk in and buy.

    Don't underestimate the strong shopping habits that people have, possibly built up over several years.

    Think about all the ways in which you could run this business, potentially not just from shop premises. Running a shop is usually very expensive with long leases on the premises to consider. You'll have to pay the rent, whether or not the shop makes a profit. Plus the other bills.

    I would recommend running a trial operation, non-shop, to help you understand what customers want most, and how much of a market there is for your services. This way, you'll get low-cost market research, without the risks of a shop lease. If it does better than expected, then look for ways to expand.

    I don't like to be negative, but many small businesses fail during their 1st year or so, often with burdens of office and shop leases around their necks, that have meant making a profit remained a dream.

    Good luck! Rob

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  • 1 decade ago

    Yeah sounds like a good idea to me! Have you done any research? You should try to find out... is there a market for this in the area? are there already similar buisnesses in the area? If you know someone who is a cook why not do the party food aswell a party in a box so to speak! This idea looks like you can build on it in time! If it goes well enough and you have the enthusiasim you could even take on a dress maker and do full weddings! Remember It'll be hard work and you probably wont really make a massive profit for the first year or so as it will all be going back into the buisness, so dont feel like its getting nowhere its perfectly normal for new buisnesses to just break even for the first year or so but you should have enough left to live on if you keep your costs to a minumum keep everything down to the basics premises everything till you get a customer base built up

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  • 1 decade ago

    Are there any other such businesses in the area? I think you should keep all of your options open, perhaps keep it as a hobby for the time being until you see how the business is going. It seems very labour intensive and would require you to constantly pay attention to detail. Would the cakes be bought on demand, I mean does the customer get to choose a particular style or are they just standard cakes. Why I ask this is because you could end up with a lot of cakes left over if they don't sell. Of course you would need Health and Hygiene certificate to manufacture these cakes and sell them to the public. Your premises for cooking would also need to be inspected. I think the idea could take off, it just depends how much time and effort you are willing to put into it.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Yes this is a good idea, florists are finding it hard to cope with the flowers being sold at garages etc but if you combine it with personalised cards, cakes (not just for birthdays but any special occassion), balloons and any other type of article that may be required for parties or special occassions they should balance out each other. One idea that seems to be catching on here is the giving of a goodie bag for children at the end of a childrens party. You could offer this service too. You do not need to have everything on hand you can research different areas that will fit in with your idea and have coloured posters printed to show that you can offer additional services apart from the items in the shop. You could also set up a website which could bring you additional money from outside your immediate area. Just show samples of the items that you have on offer and keep a small stock of balloons etc. Remember the cards will be personal so you don't want to have too many ready made. Coloured photos of the cakes you can make, as well as other services. Keep them in folders placed about the shop so clients can browse. Perhaps small tables and seating areas would make best use of the space that you don't require to show off your samples. Offer coffee/tea to the clients who come in to discuss their requirements. As long as you are not selling it you will not need a catering licence for the premises. Good luck.

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  • 1 decade ago

    To try to keep the answer reasonably short, I hope without appearing rude.

    1/ If you want to keep your weekend job you don't expect to be successful. Whatever, the weekend job must go as your business will need your full attention.

    2/ Many successful businesses are based on a persons particular interest/hobby. There are 1000's of very successful small businesses.

    3/ Get professional advice. There are a lot of things to consider for your business, not least a premises, Internet site? stock management, cash flow, bad debts, marketing, customer base, your USP (unique selling point) and other inter related issues.

    4/ Try to make a business plan. Even if you have never done such a thing before and the professionals are critical of it. It will tell them and you where you are in relation to achieving your goal.

    There's a whole load of other stuff like the taxman, but don't let that put you off. Get your ideas down on paper and start to put some numbers together, the numbers you don't know will tell you which professionals you should talk to.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Hi,Ste444,

    Your idea could work if you can offer a USP (Unique selling point) that separates you from the high street competition.

    Since you make your own cards,you can obviously personalise them to the individual and feature designs that offer a personal touch to the recipient. You would have to create a questionnaire so that the person buying the card could tell you about the recipients' favourite hobbies,or pets,or music etc. and that way make something different.

    Make sure you build up a reference library of images of such things you can possibly use,such as clippings from magazines etc.,and don't rely on the internet- if your computer goes down for any reason,you'd be stuck.

    Start off small (advertise locally) but keep thinking big.

    Get business cards done professionally- many design and print firms offer cheap business starter packs.

    Think ahead and work on some bespoke Valentines day/Mothers day designs for next year and build up some advanced stock.

    Look at copyright for your designs in case someone exploits your work. The patents office explains moral and legal copyright issues.

    Work on your packaging and look at different materials for home-made envelopes. Maybe scented envelopes?

    Get advice on pricing,taking into account your time,materials and profit. Don't go too low.

    Just some thoughts.

    Good luck,

    Misterviv x

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  • 1 decade ago

    It is possible, however you may find it a difficult start due to big chain stores. I do like the idea of going to 1 place however other than the personal touch how would this differ from going to a supermarket where you can buy a cake, flowers and a card?

    I don't mean to stamp on you dream, just think about your competition and how you can beat them.

    I suggest doing research in your area to see if that kind of shop is needed.

    Good luck, it will be hard work but worth it.

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  • 1 decade ago

    SLA and Frog make excellent points.

    Keep in mind that it will be very hard work and your customers will not be the ideal "I just want that and that from the menu" types. Most of them will want something that you have not offered and will be disappointed if you cannot source it. For example, many will want catering for a party, can you provide this? I suspect if you are able to make cakes you can but it will add more pressure. Kids birthday parties are one thing, but a wedding reception has to be 100% perfect or it will always be seen as a failure. Keep in mind that when somebody says they have invited 50 people to a wedding at least 100 will be there on the day.

    If you are only wanting to offer a pre-organised flower/cake/invitation (and maybe thank you letters?) service then I think you may be on to something. For my wedding I dealt with a florist for the church display and reception, a printer for invitations and a separate caterer for the cake (OK, my mum made the cake, but she can be hard work at times!). To have these basic services/products dealt with by one company and hopefully in one meeting does seem like a good idea.

    You need to do some real research but I think the idea is worth it.

    Good luck to you.

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